The City Council’s decision came after being advised by the City Attorney, who studied the authorities cited in the demand letter, that the law was not legally defensible. A copy of his report and related documents are posted at www.calgunlaws.com.
The decision by the City to repeal the ordinance restores the rights of Richmond residents, as well as those traveling through the City, to possess magazines that were acquired and possessed pursuant to state law. The decision should also send a message to other municipalities considering the adoption of similar ordinances, not only those banning magazines, but also ordinances infringing on the right to keep and bear arms in general. Surrounding cities should recognize that such laws will be struck down as preempted under the landmark decision in Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco, a successful NRA lawsuit that fortified the legal doctrine of implied preemption as a restriction on local gun control measures.
Should the City of Richmond or any other jurisdiction try to adopt alternative proposals that seek to regulate the possession of firearm magazines, the legal groundwork laid in preparation for this suit will allow for a swift challenge to those measures in court.
The repeal of the City’s ban on large-capacity magazines will become final once the City Council approves the measure on second reading. The second reading is currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 15.